Western Province step closer to Newlands stadium development deal

The Western Province Football Rugby Union will move out of Newlands to Cape Town Stadium.
The Western Province Football Rugby Union will move out of Newlands to Cape Town Stadium.
Image: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) have gone a step closer to concluding a deal for the redevelopment of Newlands Rugby Stadium and moving to Cape Town Stadium.

Their clubs overwhelming voted in favour of an agreement with Flyt Property Group that they say “will enable the WPRFU to accelerate advanced negotiations with the City of Cape Town to stage rugby matches at the under utilised state-of-the-art Cape Town stadium.

It is envisaged that this will bring in an additional R23 million into the City’s coffers per annum‚ for the benefit of all Cape Town residents.”

WPRFU believe the loan agreement will enable them to pay off its R112 million debt to Remgro and Investec. They say bank guarantees have been obtained‚ subject to the ratification of the agreement by a Special General Meeting of the WPRFU on Wednesday 8 July 2020.

The WPRFU’s proposed agreement with Flyt Property Group has come under much scrutiny since their previous deal with Investec Property fell flat.

In a statement WPRFU said the previous development agreement with Investec “lapsed on 1 June 2020 due to suspensive conditions not being met. Unlike the previous agreement‚ this new agreement with Flyt Property Group will give the WPRFU a meaningful and equal stake in the proposed development. It is therefore a much better deal for the WPRFU and the future of rugby in the province‚ which the body of voters clearly recognise.”

The WPRFU explained how their agreements with Flyt Properties would work in practice.

“The Council also approved a proposal that will see the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group incorporate a new company called Newlands DevCo. This company will be owned equally by both parties with the objective of developing the Newlands Rugby Stadium property into a mixed-use development. Importantly‚ unlike previous loan and redevelopment arrangements‚ the WPRFU will have a 50% share in all economic benefits derived from the future development of the site.”

It has similar plans for a property 2km away.

“The Council also approved a proposal that another new company be incorporated between the WPRFU and Flyt Property Group called Brookside DevCo. This new company will purchase the Brookside property and its purpose will be to develop the Brookside property as a mixed-use development. This deal will give the WPRFU access to an estimated R40 million in cash‚ plus 50% of development profits down the line.”

Western Province president Zelt Marais said they were looking forward to working with Flyt Property Group: “This agreement will allow the union to unlock the value in its properties‚ so it can invest in the long-term development of clubs and players in the province. This bodes well for the sustainability of Western Province rugby going forward.”

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